Short Stories As Palette Cleansers


Since I was twitching to write-write and I’m not ready to leave the planning of the WIP yet, I started work on a short story (which has the unfortunate side effect of making me focus on this story and not the WIP).

I’ve been in Julia‘s world so long that it was difficult to recalibrate myself to live with different characters…even if it’s only for a short time. I spent a lot of time staring at the blank screen, trying to figure out how this new character would handle things. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how my new character would react; it was just that I knew exactly what Julia would do, so much so that it was easier to write Julia’s reactions. And here I thought I was sick of Julia!

Once I was able to jump the hurdle of the safe, well-worn path, it was fun to play with someone new! Hopefully, this short story will be like a palette cleanser before I jump into WIP!

How do you jump between pieces that you’re working on?


6 thoughts on “Short Stories As Palette Cleansers

  1. bethfinke

    Interesting. I heard Bonnie Jo Campbell and Jezmyn Ward on a panel at Printers Row Lit Fest earlier this month –Ward won a National Book Award for her book “Salvage the Bones” and said she worked on it for two hours a day for a long while, then when it was getting close to finish she worked on it 5 hours a day. She said that while she does admire writers who can work on a lot of projects at the same time, she just isn’t one of them. For the entire time she was working on her ms, she devoted herself to the characters in Salvage the Bones.
    Campbell was tickled by this. “Wow! You mean you admire *me*, then!” She works on many, many works at one time, says it helps solve writers block problems. If she gets stuck with one piece she’s writing , she can just pick up the other thing and work on that.

  2. Kim

    I’m cracking up at ‘What would Julia do?’ Now, whenever I see one of those ubiquitous (in the Bible-Belt) “W.W.J.D?” bracelets, I’ll be substituting Julia for Jesus. Not P.C. but I’ll be smiling.

  3. I think this is a great idea! I think that when we work on one project for long periods of time, we can’t be objective to the material anymore and our mind gets inflexible. A short break, especially writing for a different genre or doing another creative activity (drawing, crafting, dancing) really helps.

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